Using a precision formation-flying technique, NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field. This is an artist's concept.
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GRAIL Flying in Formation (Artist's Concept)

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon's gravity field.

The mission also will answer longstanding questions about Earth's moon, including the size of a possible inner core, and it should provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed. GRAIL is a part of NASA's Discovery Program.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the GRAIL mission. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, is home to the mission's principal investigator, Maria Zuber. The GRAIL mission is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about GRAIL, please visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/grail.

Image details

ID#:
PIA13956

Date added:
2012-02-01

Mission:
Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL)

Spacecraft:
GRAIL

Size:
4875 x 3671 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
2,949

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA13956.tif (53.69 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA13956.jpg (1.13 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech